Now is the time of year when many areas are finding asparagus to be in season, so that means it’s prevalent in your local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Asparagus is easy to prepare and can be cooked or eaten raw. It provides tons of valuable nutrients with each serving, that can help your parent reduce her risk of certain ailments that often plague the elderly. The next time your parent heads to the farmer’s market with her homecare provider, have them pick up some fresh asparagus to bring home and serve up at one meal each day. She will see improved health in many of these areas.
Better Bone Health
Asparagus contains half of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin K, an important nutrient for good bone health. Combine that with the iron and phosphorous a serving of asparagus has, and it’s the perfect combination to help your parent’s bones stay strong and healthy. Some research has indicated that it is one of the best foods to eat to prevent osteoporosis.
Improved Digestive Health
Many elderly people find it difficult to get enough fiber into their diet. If your parent struggles with this as well, adding some asparagus to her diet will help increase her fiber intake. The majority of the fiber in asparagus is insoluble, which means it adds bulk to stool and helps food travel through the digestive system. Asparagus also has soluble fiber, which is important for feeding beneficial gut bacteria that strengthen the immune system. A homecare provider can help your senior plan balanced, nutritious meals that include fiber-rich foods like asparagus.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Asparagus is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which is a leading contributor to aging, inflammation, and diseases like cancer. They also keep the free radicals in control in the body, reducing the risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. Look for purple asparagus the next time you’re out shopping for asparagus with your parent to get the most antioxidants.
Lowers Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association recommend diets high in potassium and low in salt to help reduce blood pressure, and a single serving of asparagus contains a significant amount of potassium. Lowering blood pressure reduces your parent’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
Prevents Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
If your parent battles recurring UTIs, enjoying some asparagus each day may help. Asparagus is a natural diuretic, causing the body to flush excess fluids and salt through the urine. For women especially, not urinating enough can lead to UTIs. If this is something your parent battles, have your homecare provider prep a bunch of asparagus so she can easily add it to her salads and meals each day.
Decreases the Risks of Certain Cancers
Eating healthy in general can reduce the risk of cancer, but asparagus in particular can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer because of the fiber it has, as well as prevent other cancers because of its higher levels of folate.
The next time you’re out shopping for your parent, see if she’ll incorporate some fresh, delicious asparagus into her diet more often to enjoy the many health benefits it provides.